To-do lists have the power to make us strong or leave us crying messes on the floor. It all depends upon who is the boss, us, or our to-do lists.
We spend a lot of time talking about our to-do lists. What should and should not be on the list. How we are going to get through the to-do list. How to prioritize the to-do list. What to do with the items we can’t get to on the to-do list. Today let’s talk about what happens when we do something on the to-do list and it does not turn out the way we want.
For example, I spent all yesterday afternoon and evening putting together the Ikea bunk beds my twins asked for as a birthday present. After I was finally done, the girls were excited, jumping up and down screaming how happy they were. At bedtime, the girls climbed into bed, fluffed their pillows, and spend 5 minutes in their individual beds before Z climbed into C’s upper bunk. Guess what climbed into my bed at 3:00 am, Z. At 6 am guess what I found in my face, Z feet.
It is terrific to know part of having to-do lists is knowing sometimes what we have to do doesn’t work the way we want.
In a prior life, at a prior time, I would have been upset about this turn of events. I mean I put 9 hours of my life into those bunk beds. The point of putting that item on my to-do list and checking it off was so that the girls could have their own bed. The point of spending 9 hours fighting with the Allen wrench and Ikea instructions was that I did not want to make up to stinky baby feet in my face. There was a mission, a plan, I put in the work and what did I get? I got baby toes in my face. And you know what, it is terrific.
It was as President Obama called it, a teachable moment. Sometimes when we do the things on the to-do list, the results we get from others are not what we would have desired. That does not change the value of what we did. It is a good thing to go down the to-do list and check off the things on it as we planned. It is good to accomplish what we set out to do. But, part of having a to-do list is the reality that sometimes the results are not what we intended. When that happens, do not get upset. Realize that is part of having a to-do list and keep moving.
So the question for you this terrific day is how are you going to deal with unexpected results from the to-do list?